MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Tips to avoid deer-vehicle collisions, according to the American Automobile Association:
- Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you: Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if an animal is spotted. Also, remember some animals move in groups, so when there is one, there are usually more in the area.
- Use high beam headlights if there’s no oncoming traffic: Wildlife may be spotted sooner when using high beams. This will give the driver time to slow down, move over or honk the horn to scare the animal away. High beams also help in spotting some animals’ reflective eyes.
- If a collision is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and remain in your lane: Swerving to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.
- Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk: Most animals, especially deer, tend to be more active early in the morning and at dusk.
- Slow down and use extra caution when traveling through areas with a high and active wildlife population: Be aware of increased wildlife movement in some regions during certain times of year such as hunting or mating season.
- Drivers should always wear a seatbelt and remain awake, alert and sober.
Editor’s Note: If you do hit a deer or other edible mammal in Montana, you are allowed to harvest the meat with the correct paperwork. Permits are tightly regulated by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to minimize people intentionally running over animals. The Vehicle Hit Wildlife Harvest permits are available here.